In 2019, Alex Zanardi entered the 2019 Rolex 24 at Daytona in a factory BMW M8 GTE equipped with advanced hand controls designed to allow him to co-drive in an endurance race alongside drivers using more traditional controls. It was an exceptional feat of overcoming hardship, a pattern in the life of the exceptionally tough Zanardi. A documentary crew was there to capture the lead-up to the race, and that footage will be released this weekend as Alex Zanardi: “Disability is All Relative”.
The documentary, produced in partnership with BMW, will be released on Amazon Prime’s video service in the US this weekend. It covers Zanardi’s run as a co-driver in the M8 GTE that competed in IMSA’s GTLM class, arguably the most competitive sports car class of the past ten years. It was the culmination of a two-decade relationship with BMW, one that began shortly after the accident that led to the loss of his legs and eventually led him through race-winning appearances in touring cars, GT sprint races in a Z4, and a top five finish in a one-off DTM race in 2018. His race at Daytona marked a triumphant return to American auto racing, the continent where he saw his greatest successes as a two-time champion in CART, and a late career debut as a professional, factory-level endurance racer.
The film will be available in North America on Amazon Prime’s video service, where it is listed at 52 minutes. It will also air on Germany’s Sky Sports F1.
The documentary concludes after the 2019 event, meaning it does not touch on his latest recovery from a horrifying handcycling crash in Summer of 2020. However, it shows Zanardi’s legendary power of will at work, a reminder that few in history have ever been more prepared to recover from anything.
In January, it was reported that Zanardi is speaking again. His condition continues to improve, and it is no surprise to his peers. When fellow American open wheel champion Tony Kanaan spoke to Road & Track after news of the crash broke, he summarized Zanardi’s legendary spirit succinctly: “Since he came out of there alive, he’s going to make it. Because that’s how strong that motherf**ker is.”
From: Road & Track
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